Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Jeopardy of Good Things

But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." -1 Sam 15:22

"Niki! Put on your boots and coat!" I raised my voice as this was the third time I'd had to say it.

Niki danced around, in that rose-colored Niki way, and immediately noticed that a candle was still burning on the table. She stopped and gazed at it, fascinated by its golden glow. Then puff, she blew it out.

"Niki!" I snapped. "Your coat!"

We had planned to go to the toy store so that she and her brother and sister could buy a toy with the money they had earned working around the house over Christmas break. Her brother and sister stood bundled by the door patiently waiting, but Niki remained in her own little world.

She spun around and danced toward the door -- in no particular hurry -- and suddenly noticed that music was playing. Skipping over to the stereo she punched some buttons.

"Niki!" Now my voice had reached an all-out bellow. "Why are your coat and boots not on your body?!"

Again she started toward the door, but some light had not been turned out so her path once again was diverted as she tried to be "helpful" and flip the switch.


I had reached to point of sheer exasperation. I wondered if we'd ever make it out the door. Why is simple obedience soooo difficult!?

And then it hit me. It was one of those "ah ha" moments when God taps me on the shoulder and says, "She reminds me of you."

Forever focusing on doing good things. And all those good things distract me from simply obeying. As a result I jeopardize the best thing -- that wonderful treasure God has in store if I'd simply obey.

"To obey is better than sacrifice" Samuel says. Funny we all think we'd be willing to be the martyr -- make the greatest sacrifice -- yet we cannot manage to listen to God and simply obey this moment today.


Sarah de Vuyst said...

Thanks for the very good reminder!

mel kleinloh said...

love it.....